Daily news roundups

Montreal on Saturday and other Union bits, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Big, big home game for the Union on Saturday against Montreal, a team that defeated the Union by a big, big 5-1 scoreline when the team’s last met in July. The Union are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 40 points, three points above fifth place Montreal.

Our preview will be up later this morning. In the meanwhile check out our quick reference and previews at Philadelphia Union (reasons to go to the game, playoff position, video teaser), Brotherly Game (preview, playoff picture), and Vavel.

More from Wednesday’s press conference at CSN Philly (Edu) and Philly Soccer News (return of Bedoya, Blake, and Yaro to the team).

Alejandro Bedoya and Eric Wynalda have made up. Hurray.

American Soccer Analysis puts the Union’s chances of making the playoffs at 97.89 percent.

Section 215 notes the recent Forbes ranking of MLS teams that has the Union as the 14th most valuable team in the league.

The Union drop one spot to No. 9 in SBI’s power rankings.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel, currently 11th in the east (27 points, 6-12-9) is on the road to South Carolina to face seventh place Charleston Battery (42 points, 11-7-9) on Saturday (7:30 pm, YouTube). Preview at Bethlehem Steel.

Bethlehem announced on Thursday it has mutually agreed to part ways with goalkeeper Samir Badr. That leaves the team with one goalkeeper on the roster with three games left in the season.

Philadelphia Union Academy

On Saturday the Union Academy teams host PA Classics. The Union U-12s have two games against PA Classics at the Indoor Turf Field at YSC, the first kicking off at 12:30 pm, the second at 2 pm. The U-13s are on the Outdoor Turf Field for a 12 pm kickoff. The U-14s play at 10 am on the Outdoor Turf Field, while the U-15/16s play on the Outdoor Turf Field at 2 pm. The U-17/18s play on the Outdoor Turf Field at 4 pm.

Local

The Philadelphia International Unity Cup tournament kicks off today with two games at Ramp Playground (3300-40 Solly Ave.): At 6:30 pm, it is Mexico vs. Vietnam, followed at 8:30 pm by Ireland vs. USA. A whole slew of games take place on Saturday and Sunday.

The AP has a report on the tournament.

A 90th minute equalizer led to the game-winning goal four minutes into overtime as La Salle fought back to defeat Saint Peter’s 4-3 on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Villanova defeated Navy, 2-1.

At Philly.com, Kate Harman has a ranking of the top ten high school girls soccer teams in Southeastern PA.

MLS

Official: Landon Donovan has come out of retirement to help the injury riddled Los Angeles Galaxy finish the 2016 season. Donovan said, “I’m under no illusion that I’m going to be able to come back and play the whole 90 minutes, maybe not for the rest of the year. But what I talked to Bruce [Arena] about was that I can probably get fit enough and get back into the groove enough that I can maybe make a few plays on the field that’ll make a difference in the long run.” More at MLSsoccer.com, ESPN, SIFourFourTwo, Goal.com, and Philly.com.

FC Dallas have signed 16-year-old academy product Paxton Pomykal, making him the team’s 15th homegrown signing.

Is Benny Feilhaber leaving Kansas City and MLS?

Gabby Agbonlahor to MLS?

The designs for the proposed new stadium for Sacramento Republic have been further refined: “There are still several steps before this proposal is complete, and ultimately it will only be built with private funds if Sacramento is granted the MLS expansion. The final phase is expected to be presented on Oct. 20.”

USL side orange County Blues have a new majority owner.

US

After giving up an early lead, the US came back to draw 2-2 with fourth-ranked Netherlands in their opening match at the Paralympic Games in Rio on Thursday. The US next faces twelfth-ranked Iran on Sept. 10.

Good read on two players on the US Paralympic team at SI.

Jill Ellis has announced her 21-player roster for the USWNT friendlies against Thailand on Sept. 15 in Columbus (8 pm, ESPN2) and against Netherlands in Atlanta on Sept. 18 (7 pm, FS1).

Megan Rapinoe is among those called up for the friendlies. Will she kneel during the national anthem? Rapinoe said, “I’ve been in touch with U.S. Soccer and the media relations there, talking through my process. It’s kind of an ongoing process daily with me, my agent, U.S. Soccer and everyone involved. As of now, I do plan to do it. It’s an ever-evolving process and I know it means something different when I’m wearing the U.S. shirt.” More at USA Today and Goal.com.

Rapinoe also said Washington Spirit owner Bill Lynch “is homophobic” because playing the national anthem while players were still in the locker room before Tuesday’s Washington Spirit-Seattle Reign game prevented Rapinoe from kneeling during the anthem, “a protest I am making as a gay woman,” and because the team does not have a Gay Pride night. Lynch disagrees.

Elsewhere

FIFA has announced it has opened an investigation into former president Sepp Blatter, former secretary general Jerome Valcke, and former acting secretary general and director of finance & corporate services Markus Kattner regarding violations of FIFA statutes related to “salaries and bonuses paid to Mr Blatter, Mr Valcke and Mr Kattner as well as other provisions included in the contracts of these three individuals.” More from Press Association and the AP.

Also from FIFA: “The FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to reject the appeals lodged by Spanish clubs Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid and to confirm in their entirety the decisions rendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in the respective cases relating to the protection of minors.” The clubs are therefore forbidden from participating in the winter and summer transfer windows in 2017, although both clubs are appealing FIFA’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

PA Sport reports, “European football’s governing body UEFA is investigating the Greek match-fixing allegations surrounding the man who is trying to buy Nottingham Forest, Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis.”

The AP reports, “Three officials from the Sierra Leone Football Association were released on bail Thursday after being taken into police custody for failing to cooperate with an investigation into financial mismanagement.”

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week.

21 Comments

  1. I’m looking forward to the Manchester Derby tomorrow morning during breakfast. Pep, Jose, Zlatan…. Egos far too large to occupy the same postal code. (I have no rooting interest)

    • It’s amazing. There is a game going on with Wayne Rooney on the field and he will be an absolute afterthought. My, how things have changed…
      .
      And I have a rooting interest. To hijack a current political trend…#NeverMourinho

      • I do dislike United. I dislike for no rational reason both Fellaini and Schweinstieger. And I like Raheem Sterling and root for the kid to live up to his hype and price tag. But no result will have me broken up.

      • I’m a Spurs fan, so I think a draw is the best result I can hope for. Hopefully 0-0, just so they are both annoyed afterwards.
        .
        It’s funny, I’m not a MU fan. It’s like rooting for the Yankees when you live nowhere near NYC. (And are not from the area.) But I really couldn’t care less about City. I don’t know why. But they have always been lacking a personality. Great players, I just don’t care about them.
        .
        Odd…

      • i’m a City fan. always loved Manchester culture: music, tv, etc. — never latched on to United, though tempted in my youth. The “can’t root for the Yankees because of success” kept me away. City was my team because of this adopted city love, not success. didn’t expect much from them. happy that they’re a contender.

      • You meant Spuds…..sorry, United aren’t the “Yankess” of footy……..that’s RM! When City was bought by the Sheik, you ceased to be underdogs!

      • Raheem Sterling couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a ball! Two weeks ago was a fluke!

      • The pace, though. The pace. I bet he rebounds this year.

        I’m always a fan of the little guys. Sterling, Coutinho, Joe Allen…. I should put a 5’6″ and under IX — Not sure I’d have a keeper or a back line, but … 🙂

      • I can sympathize with that Pete, I was a 5’7 guy playing with the trees in D1……like you said, you better have pace and pace of thought to deal…….I like David Silva for the same reason…….he’d make a great Gunner! Sterling definitely has a plus side….but when he doesn’t score…it’s hard to find a place to play him…….he’s not a 9……….I still see him more as a winger. Coutinho is class…….getting a little predictable cutting inside to launch that howitzer……but class.

    • Lucky Striker says:

      will watch to scout. UCL rendezvous at the Ethiad coming up soon………

  2. 97.89%.
    .
    Statistical relevance…. so important yet so trivial… at least IMO.
    .
    —- 15th Homegrown signing for FC Dallas…. this is the ONLY hope for relevance against the world in a league without meritocracy… the faster a 16-18 year old with commensurate skill is playing with and against men the better… that way our ‘little boys’ at 22 may not look so ‘little’ against the likes of Colombia sometime soon.

  3. No comments on LD? He may be outta shape, but if he really worked hard and came back next year, he could undoubtedly be one of the best players in the league

    • Doubt it; over the hill.

    • RE: LD…as evidenced by an opinion on Twitter….. “if a player can come into a team after not playing for almost 2 years and make a difference, MLS has bigger problems than originally thought”
      .
      That said… I wish he wouldn’t have retired in the first place. The game is better served with Landon playing at this point.
      .
      while I appreciate and respect Landon…
      .
      …in other and a bit more important news, Ronaldinho has officially said, “Goodbye”..

      • I mean Brett Favre retired multiple times yet still was a boss qb into his 40s but nobody started saying, “Oh the NFL is not competitive enough”. And though he was a great qb it’s not like he was a Joe Montana or something like that. Also, we really need to stop having such a complex about our league. It’s a decent league, maybe even “gasp” a good league, so I’m just gonna enjoy it. Whether or not he’s in shape, he’s a great player to add that makes for great storylines which is what builds great sporting events. Also, he’s quality, I don’t care if he’s outta shape, he’s quality and it’s always good to add quality players. No ones mad at Zlatan for scoring a goal every game in the PL and so “making it look bad cause he’s old”. Just saying

      • Did you just compare a QB in throwball to a footballer? And dude, the league is still not a good league…….it improves every year it exists, but to think they are even close to the European or South American standard is living in a fantasy land. MLS can’t even win a CONCACAF Champions League…….when a club at least does that……get back to me! Lastly, after such a break…….I don’t think he’d make the cut……he could still have fun in the NASL, USL, or PDL though…….

      • I know I compared one sport to another sport! Gasp! Seriously though, please take a second and think about that. It is not only perfectly normal to compare players between sports, it can also give you a better perspective. So there is nothing wrong with that. That being said, no we have not won CONCACAF Champions League. Not yet. Even the preseason arguments aside, so what? We’re known for being a league of parity so naturally (in theory) our best teams wouldn’t be able to compete with the best teams of a roughly equivalent league (like Liga MX, for the sake of argument). So thats not an issue. Also, Liga MX teams have themselves come remarkably close to winning the Copa Libertadores, which is obviously seen as the title for being the best club in the entire Americas. That team that wins it, though of course will never win to the Club WC due to the Barcas and Madrids and Bayerns winning UEFA Champions League, they should not be discounted. All that to say…yes we’re a good league. Not a great one, but unlike most people I look at the global stage. Maybe we’re not great compared to the best leagues in the world, but thats alright, we’re still young. For a league that started out from nothing, compared to every professional league in the world, we’re definitely in the top half. One might say, “Well we should be much better!” No, we have no predetermined right to be the best. We’re working there, but to say we should be there already with what little work we’ve put into soccer previously would most certainly call into question the abilities of the rest of the world when it comes to soccer. Why were they so bad that it took the US only 20 years to surpass them still having soccer as a quintennary sport? Yea, when you look at it like that, it all of a sudden seems alright. So what’s there to complain about? Also, it is not up to us to determine if he is to make the cut or not, he’s alright signed to an MLS team as an impact sub, nothing more. There is absolutely zero wrong with that.

      • Comparing athletes of certain sports can gain you perspective, not all sports. That’s basic sports science. I stopped after you said a league of parity! I think Ligament MX clubs almost winning the Copa Lib shows you just how far we need to go. I don’t think it was the rest of the world was that bad that it took 20 years to catch them…….I’d argue that we haven’t come close to catching them. A win here a win there…..sure. I pose this question to you Chief, if our B side plays the Mexican B or C side….or the Brazilian, German, Spanish, Columbian what happens? We get flamed. Is our player pool nearly as deep as the countries mentioned above? I could have mentioned many more. Do not forget we are a nation of 300 million…..that’s why we caught up…..but we still can’t churn out ballers like countries with 12!

      • Yes, and my comparison was appropriate. If I said “Messi should take all the blame for Argentina losing, QBs do in the NFL!” that would be unfair as QBs have an incomparable amount of influence on the game of football than any soccer player does regardless of position. However, mine had nothing to do with the intricacies of each sport. Anyways, I appreciate the honesty but I actually wish you had read my comments. First off, how can you compliment Liga MX for “almost” winning Copa Libertadores and then simultaneously insult MLS (much younger than Liga MX, argentine leagues ect.) for “almost” winning CCL. That doesn’t make sense. I chose to compliment both. I think its impressive for both Liga MX to do what it did in Copa and MLS in CCL. Again, read what I said. I said basically, “Its alright that we haven’t caught the rest of the world in club soccer yet BECAUSE IF we did then it would be an indictment on the quality of soccer in the rest of the world.” We haven’t, but we’ve made excellent strides. See now you’re talking about our National teams which is a different matter. However, I would still disagree with you on that. Most of our depth right now consists of very talented young players that just haven’t pushed their way into 23 man roster. “B” team players for us right now include Rimando, Bill Hamid, Matt Besler, Timmy Chandler, Matt Miazga, Tim Ream, Perry Kitchen, Danny Williams, Alfredo Morales, Will Trap, Lee Nguyen, Emerson Hyndman, Aron Johansson, Jordan Morris, and either Dempsey or Wood. Thats a lot of talent and thats only a little bit. Do I think better teams have better depth…ummm yea. But not as much as you might think. Yes I realize we have a large population but that doesn’t guarantee us anything. One day we might be the best in the world, but it takes time. Just because we have a lot of people doesn’t mean we instantaneously deserve to be the best.

      • Club reserves or national sides………

      • Thank you

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